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March 18, 2015

Serena Williams


S. WILLIAMS/T. Bacsinszky
7‑5, 6‑3

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Obviously a player who is playing with a lot of confidence coming in.  Pretty clear.  How were you able to sort of settle in and get the best of her tonight?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, she's had a lot of confidence.  Also, with that, she has a lot of matches.  I think it helped me in the end and worked to my advantage to be ready for it.

Q.  Looked like you had a lot of trouble with the lights.  Was there a glare up there?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah.  I kept losing the ball in the light and it was just a little difficult.
But, yeah, I just wasn't ready for that.

Q.  You're almost there.  Can you kind of taste it there, the trophy at the end?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah.  I'm really, really close but I'm super far away.  There are some other ladies that are almost there, too.  They want to win, as well.
Yeah, it's close, but it's really far away.

Q.  Halep next.  You have had an up and down with her.  How do you feel about that matchup?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, I think it will be really good.  It's a good surface for her.  I feel like she can definitely come out here, and when we play, play really well.
Hopefully I can start playing better.  We'll see.

Q.  What do you take out of Singapore?  Those two matches were totally different.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  They were totally different.  What I take out most is to be ready.  I expect her to be playing an incredible game.  I don't think I was necessarily ready for that.
Now I'm ready for her to be the great player that she is capable of being.

Q.  How would you describe Timea Bacsinszky as a player?  Is there something that separates her, the way that she plays?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Well, first of all, I think she's really refreshing and I think she's a really smart player.  She knows how to mix up the ball and move the shot around.
She knows how to hit pretty much shot.  She has every shot in her repertoire.  I think that's a really good thing to have.

Q.  When you go into matches against players who have beaten you, does that change anything when you go into a match?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  It definitely does change.  It makes you more aware.  It makes you think, Okay, this player has gotten the best of me before and I have to be ready for them, because it could happen again.

Q.  Does that get you up and your adrenaline going?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, it definitely gets you up.

Q.  You have been a little bit inconsistent in matches throughout the week.  What have you been happy with?  Today what were you pleased with in your game?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Well, you know me, I can't name anything I'm pleased with today.  I'm just happy that I was able to get through that and still be alive in this tournament, when I haven't clearly been the Serena that we all know.

Q.  Any reason you think why?  Rust?  Nerves?  Emotion?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Oh, I don't know.  I could say rust, but I have been playing for over 30 years, so I'm not sure how much rust could play a part of it.
I'm just still trying to feel my way in the tournament.  The only thing is I know can I play a lot better.  I really take a lot of solace in that.  Even if I don't win this event, I know I can play a tremendous amount better than what I have been playing.

Q.  You mentioned Singapore.  It's early in the year, but there are a lot of players high up in the sort of race/standings right who that we haven't seen there before, like Bacsinszky, Pliskova, Suarez Navarro.  Do you have a sense this could be a changing year with a lot of different players doing well, or do you think that by the time all is said and done it will be more familiar faces than not?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I don't know.  I would love to see those players there.  I think it's always good to see fresh faces.  I hope to be there actually, so I have to make sure I can continue and play well.
Yeah, it's always good to see new faces.

Q.  You're in pretty good shape for it right now.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Okay.  I hope so.  (Laughter.)
Q.You have said this week that you're surprised that you're still playing at this point in your career.  Say five, ten years ago, what did you think you'd be doing in 2015?  Do you think you'd be acting or designing or...
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I don't know if I ever thought that far in advance.  I mean, if you look at Back to the Future, you know, 2015 people were flying in cars.  (Laughter.)
So maybe I thought I would be in a flying car.  (Laughter.)

Q.  How familiar are you with soccer?  And if you know, like there is a big game next week between Barcelona and Real Madrid.  What do you know about these two teams?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Well, being an American, we are not really in touch with soccer as much.  I would like to be.  I think that about sums it up.  I always watch World Cup though.

Q.  Speaking about soccer, I remember in I think it was 2002 you had the Cameroon kit.  Do you remember that?  Would you ever do that again during a football tournament?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I may.  Yeah, I think that was a World Cup year, too.

Q.  You were actually the last American to win this event, believe it or not.

Q.  What would that mean to you, your first year back, being able to win this event for the Americans, I guess?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  That would be great.  That's been a long time.  That would be great.
But I really think that far in advance.  If I win‑‑ ‑‑I have two tough matches potentially, so hopefully I will be able to play two good matches.

Q.  Your being here brings back a lot of money, ticket sales and everything and financially.  Are you aware about that?  What do you feel about that?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, I definitely ‑‑I'm aware of it, and that's what I think people‑‑ us as tennis players, we want to be able to perform our best and have as many people come out and watch us perform and do really well.  That's what we dream of, doing something we love and having people come out and watch us.
It's a humbling experience.  I think it's great.

Q.  It was a nice handshake you had with Timea.  Wondering what you talked about?  A little bit of a nice chat?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah.  She was like ‑‑gosh, nothing serious.  I was just like, Good match.  I told her she had a really good couple of weeks and keep up the good work.  She was like, Thanks.  She was excited.  She obviously wanted to win.  Yeah.

Q.  Coming back here, what kind of impact has it had for your charity, EJI?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, we raised a lot of money, which was really exciting.  It's going to a really good cause.  I was happy to be able to help out.

Q.  When you were deciding to come back with that charity, we were talking a little bit in general about recent events in this country.  Was there one or a few of these events that really helped trigger it for you to get involved with EJI to come back here?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I can't say there was one event.  I think we all know many, many, several things that happened in the country, and that's happening every day.
Also, just, like I said, it's just an opportunity to speak up and to be...

Q.  Can you talk about maybe your emotional reactions to watching not just one, but a couple of things keep happening and happening?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, I think it's ‑‑I think everyone kind of is, in a way, saddened and a little bit disappointed at some of the things that happened in 2015.  We should be in flying cars and we are not.  We are like dealing with, you know, race issues.
So I think it's really ‑‑it's admirable how many people stood up and how many people stand up and speak out for the rights of humanity and the rights of another.
You know, I think hopefully it's going to make a difference.

Q.  Was there a moment where you thought about doing what some of the basketball players have done, wearing a shirt or...
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I thought that was really admirable.  I would have actually done that, but I didn't ‑‑when I saw the shirt, I thought, I would have loved to have been a part of that movement.

Q.  You mentioned Back to the Future 2 a couple times.  Was that your favorite of the trilogy?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  No, definitely 1.

Q.  Why?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Because I like the dad.  He was the ultimate, like, nerd.

Q.  Miami coming up.  How good will it be to be back home?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  It will be great.  I'm dreaming of it.  I'm dreaming of going back there.  I have amazing success there.  Yeah, I just love that event.  I love being home and playing there.  Just driving, you know, back to my house, it's nice.

Q.  The Invitational, as well.  Will you be doing that, as well?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  How did you know about the Invitational?  Yeah, we do it every year.  We have it again this year.  Most excited about the Invitational.  It's become a really big event.

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